Insectivorous Plants

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Murray, 1908 - Carnivorous plants - 377 pages
 

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Page 29 - ... it is extremely doubtful whether any nerve in the human body, even if in an inflamed condition, would be in any way affected by such a particle supported in a dense fluid, and slowly brought into contact with the nerve. Yet the cells of the glands of Drosera are thus excited to transmit a motor impulse to a distant point, inducing movement. It appears to me that hardly any more remarkable fact than this lias been observed in the vegetable kingdom.
Page 32 - ... a layer of colourless circulating protoplasm. If a tentacle is examined some hours after the gland has been excited by repeated touches, or by an inorganic or organic particle placed on it, or by the absorption of certain fluids...
Page 33 - Tentacles which have been thus acted on by contact of particles have a mottled appearance, and can be picked out with ease from all the others. The change of contents is termed by Darwin aggregation. " The little masses of aggregated matter are of the most diversified shapes, often spherical or oval, sometimes much elongated, or quite irregular with thread or necklace-like or club-formed projections. They consist of thick, apparently viscid matter, which in the exterior tentacles is of a purplish,...
Page 139 - that this statement will appear incredible to almost every one. Drosera is far from rivalling the power of the spectroscope, but it can detect, as shown by the movements of its leaves, a much smaller quantity of the phosphate of ammonia than the most skilful chemist can of any substance. My results were for a long time incredible, even to myself, and I anxiously sought for every source of error. . . . The observations were repeated during several years. Two of my sons, who were as incredulous as...
Page 141 - In fact every time that we perceive an odor, we have evidence that infinitely smaller particles act on our nerves. When a dog stands a quarter of a mile to the leeward of a deer or other animal, and perceives its presence, the odorous particles produce some change in the olfactory nerves ; yet these particles must be infinitely smaller than those of the phosphate of ammonia weighing the one 2o,ooo,oooth of a grain.
Page 139 - ... ounces would more than fill a thirty-one gallon cask ; and that to this large body of water one grain of the salt was added ; only half a drachm, or thirty minims, of the solution being poured over a leaf. Yet this amount sufficed to cause the inflection of almost every tentacle, and often of the blade of the leaf.
Page 300 - ... small flies was placed along one margin. When looked at next day, after fifteen hours, this margin but not the other was found folded inwards, like the helix of the human ear, to the breadth of one tenth of an inch, so as to lie partly over the row of flies. The glands on which the flies rested, as well as those on the overlapping margin which had been brought into contact with the flies, were all secreting copiously.
Page 329 - ... way into the entrance and back out as if afraid. Another, more heedless, would open the door and walk in ; but it was no sooner in than it manifested alarm, drew In its feet and antennae and closed its shell.
Page 215 - ... of a grain and largely supported by the dense secretion, for this excessively slight pressure soon causes a visible change in the protoplasm, which change is transmitted down the whole length of the tentacle, giving it at last a mottled appearance, distinguishable even by the naked eye.
Page 286 - P'imrose (Primula tiineiisis) although indifferent to animal infusions, were found to absorb quickly both the solution and vapor of carbonate of ammonia. Now, as rain-water contains a small percentage of ammonia, and the atmosphere a minute quantity of the carbonate or nitrate, and as a moderate-sized plant of this primrose was ascertained, (by estimate from a count on small measured surfaces by Mr. Francis Darwin) to bear between 2 to 3 millions of these glands, it begins to dawn upon us that...

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